|Visia Skin Analysis Machine|
The Visia Skin Analysis machine is a facial imaging device that assesses the condition of your complexion and compares it to others who are the same age and ethnicity as you. Since my late teens, I've been taking care of my skin by adjusting and updating my routine as new products and lifestyle advice became available. Therefore, having my complexion analysed after 25 years of spending time and money on it (I'm now 44) is a a big and interesting test.
Before I divulge my results, I think it's important to raise some points that need to be considered by anyone who is thinking of using one of these machines. I had my analysis at the Kensington branch of Wholefoods where it was free and done by a lovely lady called Kim Senft. She was very well informed about how the device worked, skincare in general and the different product ranges sold at Wholefoods. We chatted about all things skin related for quite awhile but I never felt under any pressure to buy anything. Of course, this made me trust her opinion and recommendations much more than I would if she was trying to persuade me into spending huge amounts.
Unfortunately, not everyone provides a non-pressured experience. A lot of Visia machines are in Medi-Spas or assigned to a particular skincare brand at a beauty counter where they're used as marketing tools. In most cases, though not always, the analysis will be free but it will be done with the aim of selling you expensive treatments or products. Under these circumstances, my advise would be not to make any immediate decisions on whether to have botox, fillers, chemical peel or buy expensive products etc but to say you'd like to think about it. If you're still tempted after a cooling off period, do some online research on what was advised and, in the case of procedures, the reputation of the practitioner, before making a final decision.
Another point is that there is a strong argument for assessing the condition of the skin as the naked eye can see it. This is how a lot of top dermatologists and facialists work. Therefore, if you're happy with the way your skin looks you mustn't become unhappy just because a machine and it's operator say that you should. Remember, anything or anyone that makes you feel bad so you can be sold something to 'fix the problem' should be either avoided or ignored.
So here are the images and scores that resulted from sticking my head in the Visia box. The higher the score the better i.e a score of 80% for wrinkles means that only 20% of people of your age have less wrinkles than you. Just for clarification's sake, my face is free of botox and filler and I've never had a professional laser or peel treatment.
Spots (17%): These are defined as being red or brown skin lesions including freckles, acne scars, hyper pigmentation and vascular lesions. I scored badly here however I'm confused about this as I'll explain below.
Wrinkles (91%): I think we all know that these are the furrows, folds and creases in the skin. My facial expression was completely neutral when the image was taken. If I was smiling then I don't think my score would have been as good.
Texture (98%): This is an analysis of smoothness.
Pores (98%): Again, I don' think these need an introduction but just to be clear they're the circular openings of the sweat gland ducts. As you can see from the image the pores on the side of my nose weren't measured. If it did, I think my large pores here would have broken the machine.
UV Spots (69%): These occur when melanin coagulates below the skin surface as a result of the sun damage and are invisible under normal lighting conditions. I think one of the most positive outcomes for anyone having this test is become more motivated to use sunscreen on a daily basis.
Brown Spots (81%): These can be hyper pigmentation, freckles and melanoma. The confusion I mentioned above regarding 'Spots' is because there seems to be a large amount of crossover between that category and 'Red Areas' and 'Brown Spots' yet I scored badly for the former category and well for the later two.
Red Areas (94%): These can be acne, inflammation, rosacea or spider veins.
Porphyrins (68%): These are bacterial excretions that become lodged in pores.
On the whole, I'm pleased with my results and part of the reason for the good scores is down to genetics. However, it's got to be more than coincidence that I scored very highly in the categories for wrinkles, pores and texture and have spent the past 25 years taking care of my skin. So, if you've had any doubts about investing your time and money on skincare I hope you'll now be encouraged to continue as there will be a long term pay-off.
If you'd like to get your skin analysed you can find the Visia machine in plenty of Wholefoods Stores but call your local one in advance to check first so you don't have a wasted journey.